Writing New India’s growth story with logistics efficiency

Sumita Dawra
India is at a take-off point today. The logistical bottlenecks are falling by the wayside as the country’s global logistics rating zooms past its competitors.
India’s global positioning in manufacturing and trade is strongly related to reforms for improving infrastructure and EXIM logistics. Recognising infrastructure as a critical growth engine for the economy, reforms such as the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP) and the National Logistics Policy have focussed on improving logistics infrastruc- ture and logistics services for goods and passenger movement. And in a very short time, these reforms are showing results.
The World Bank, in its report for 2023 on Logistics Performance Index (LPI) has acknowledged India’s progress in the direction of improved logistics efficiency. World Bank’s report shares the LPI across 139 nations, and has placed India at 38th position, a jump of six places over our rank in 2018.
LPI is ‘a survey-based quantification of qualitative perceptions’ across six broad parameters that consider Customs, Infrastruc- ture, International Shipments, Logistics compe- tence and quality of logistics services, Timeliness, Tracking and Tracing.  
The World Bank gives India’s example as an emerging economy that has invested in infrastructure and technologies since 2015, connecting the ports on both eastern and western coast of the country to economic centres in the hinterland. Such investments, apart from other factors, is why India’s dwell time for containers at ports leapfrogged that of many developed nations. Between May and October 2022, India’s dwell time was at a low of 3 days, while it was 4 days for UAE and S Africa, 7 for US and 10 for Germany.
The report upholds India as a good case study of a country that has brought in supply chain visibility through use of a digitization platform, namely, the National Logistics Data Bank Services Ltd (NLDBSL).  
The report explains how Logistics Data Bank (LDB) tracks and traces the movement of EXIM containers in India, through use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, thereby making it possible for consignees to undertake ‘end-to-end trac-king of their supply chain.’ Such a cargo tracing mechanism, introduced initially on the western coast of the country in 2016, and today covering all major ports and private ports, is credited with improved dwell time of containers at the Indian Ports.
To quote from the World Bank’s report, “With the introduction of cargo tracking, dwell time in the eastern port of Visakhapat-nam fell from 32.4 days in 2015 to 5.3 days in 2019.”
Recognising the critical role of the logistics sector in the country’s future, Government of India had launched Logistics Data-bank Project (LDB) as a digital system for tracking supply chains.
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